Version 1.3.5 and a Special Offer

Version 1.3.5 is available now, either through the Sparkle Update or the download link.. This version adds two date fields to the Summary View. You can use these fields to set the beginning and ending dates for the summary, so you are no longer confined to viewing a single month. This should make it easier to do budgeting and forecasting with Horizon.

The second piece of news is that, for today only, Horizon is available at 20% off the usual price of $29.95 U.S. As part of the MacSanta campaign, you can use the coupon code ‘MACSANTA07’ in the built-in store to get the discount. You might want to visit the MacSanta store as well, to see the other great software deals.

iMovie and iLife, Kicking and Screaming

I’ve been using iMovie to assemble the screencasts and the intro movie in the ‘Welcome’ panel. I haven’t tried the new version yet; I’ve been sticking with iMovie-HD most because I’m more familiar with it, and I like having a time line. The problem is, iMovie is rotten at doing slideshows. There are two slideshows in the intro movie; one at the beginning and one at the end.

The problem is that, although the slideshow looks fine in iMovie, it somehow gets messed up on the export to QuickTime. I finally found a solution that involved almost all of the iLife suite. I assemble all the images I need in an iPhoto album, and import my narration track into iTunes. Then I create a slideshow in iPhoto, and add the narration track as the ‘music’ from iTunes. I set the slideshow to run for the duration of the audio track, and disable the ‘Ken Burns’ effect. (Apple, or more precisely, Steve Jobs, must love that ‘Ken Burns’ effect. It’s set as the default in iPhoto and iMovie-HD.) Finally, I export the slideshow to QuickTime, and add it to my iMovie project.

Although it seems like a lot of steps, it’s actually rather quick, and gives you more precise timing. I really must learn the new iMovie sometime soon, though.

Funky Feeds

Since upgrading to Leopard, I’ve noticed that Safari will sometimes stop getting RSS feeds. I’ve traced this problem (I think) to the system-wide feed daemon that provides RSS feeds to Safari, Mail.app, and any other process that wants to subscribe.

The fix seems to be to go into Activity Monitor and Stop the ‘PubSubAgent’. This daemon seems to restart itself automatically, and all the RSS feeds suddenly appear. I haven’t noticed any side effects with stopping the PubSubAgent, so this seems as good a solution as any until Apple fixes the problem.

Another Beta Round

Version 1.3.5 is ready for beta testing, and it includes a major change to the Summary View. I’d really like to get this release bullet-proof before I release it to the general public, so if you’re interested in playing with it, send me an email.

StartupCampToronto

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending StartupCampToronto, at a bar called ‘No Regrets’ in Toronto. There was a keynote speech by serial start-up founder Albert Lai, and then five start-ups had five minutes each to present their product or service; followed by 15 minutes each for audience questions. I was most interested in Defensio, a product that claims %99.79 accuracy in combating comment spam. I’m definitely going to install it on this blog and give it a try.

After the presentations, a number of companies, including mine, set up demo stations at ‘pods’ in the room below. I think I was the only person actually demonstrating a desktop app, as opposed to a web app or web service. I had a lot of people stop by, and just about all of them ‘got it’ after a quick demo. A number of people independently suggested that Horizon would make a great iPhone app, so I’m more excited that ever to get my hands on the iPhone SDK in February. The was also discussion of a web app, and integration with different on-line services, like banks.

All in all, it was a great experience, I met a number of really nice people, and learned an awful lot about being a start up. I hope to attend more events like these in the future.

Fixes and Hints

Version 1.3.3 was released yesterday, to fix a couple of regression bugs that crept in. The first bug was really ugly; repeats looked like they had broken. If you moved to another month and then moved back, the repeated cells would appear in the right places. Anyway, this is now fixed.

The second bug had to do with editing a cell that contained a relative reference, like ‘yesterday’ or ‘last week’. Clicking on the cell wouldn’t show the right contents in the edit field. This bug has been there for a while, so I’m surprised no one has noticed it before now.

Finally, I’ve set up a mailing list for Horizon Hints. This will be a weekly email describing some feature or trick, and you can subscribe by filling in the form here. The first hint will go out next week, and I’ll set up an archive for them shortly.